State Sen. Scott Wilk’s government transparency bill unanimously passed the Senate floor on Monday and now heads to the state Assembly for a vote.
Senate Bill 53 looks to increase transparency in government agencies, according to a news release from Wilk’s office.
“Under existing law, all bodies of the Legislature, as well as all local governmental bodies, must publicly post meeting notices and allow for public participation,” the release reads. “However, a loophole in current statute allows executive bodies to skirt these open meeting requirements by forming small, two-member committees that can meet in private, despite wielding significant amounts of influence in state government.”
As a result, Wilk authored SB 53 to protect the public’s right to know, according to Monday’s release.
“State agencies have been exploiting a loophole for years that is allowing them to hold meetings out of the public eye,” Wilk said. “The Senate’s vote today sends a loud message: We expect the stringent transparency rules Sacramento requires of local governments (to) apply to Sacramento’s state agencies as well.”
As the senator commended his colleagues for recognizing the importance of the issue, Wilk said, “Our vote today demonstrates a clear consensus that greater transparency leads to a more accountable government — a government that can better serve its people and address their needs.”